Looking to give your guilty, snacking pleasures a sophisticated lift? These very adult combos can prove terrifically indulgent. From salty to sweet, earthy to candied, wine is an incredibly versatile beverage that can compliment a wide range of flavours. These unconventional pairings are sure to take the pretense out of wine and satisfy your “junk food” cravings.
*Prices may vary by province.*
Here’s which wines go best with which junk foods
Potato Chips + ChampagneA most indulgent treat, crunchy, salty potato chips crackle in combination with sizzling, frothy Champagne. An addictive and unforgettable pairing that plays on the affinity of sparkling wine to salt. Try this with popcorn too!
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne, France, $69.95 Thinkstock
Chocolate Chip Cookies + LambruscoThis northern Italian wine made of the lambrusco grape variety can be sweet on its own but in combination with a cookie sandwich is much more balanced and appealing. This red, effervescent and inexpensive wine is both creamy and has the allure of soda pop.
Chiarli Castelvetro Lambrusco, Emilia Romagna, Italy, $9.95 Thinkstock
Glazed Donuts + Spritzy MoscatoAiry and sugary, glazed donuts are hard to pass up once you’ve laid eyes on them. Add some sophistication to your indulgence by pairing it with an equally feathery, sweet treat such as a fizzy Moscato. Thankfully, it is also a guiltless breakfast sipper as it is so low in alcohol. Beware, this combo might just be your undoing.
Botter Moscato, Puglia, Italy, $9.95 Thinkstock
Hummus + Fume BlancChickpeas are not the easiest food to pair with wine but thankfully, sauvignon blanc is one of the few grapes that actually works with earthy foods. The combination will bring out the smokiness and herbal quality of the wine and should enhance the richness and creaminess of the hummus.
Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2013, Napa Valley, California, USA, $22.95Thinkstock
Vanilla Ice Cream + Cream SherryAlthough you could very well sip this sweet, unctuous, raisined sherry alongside a satisfying bowl of ice cream, we prefer to pour it all over like a caramel sauce for ultimate enjoyment. Although indulgent like cream, there is no dairy in cream sherry which is dark, thick and sweet.
Harveys Bristol Cream Sherry, Spain, $15.45 Thinkstock
Beef Jerky + CarmenèreUmami, a savory sensation in food found in abundance in beef jerky, is not always a wine’s best friend so a perfect pairing can be tricky. However, of all of the reds out there, Chile’s signature grape, Carmenere, has the greatest affinity to this character in food and often exhibits a savory soy-like flavour of its own. The combination leaves a surprisingly sweet and appealing impression.
Root: 1 Carmenère 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile, $12.80 Thinkstock
Black Licorice + Côtes du RhôneIt is not uncommon to find notes of licorice in the wines of the Southern Rhône along with flavours of lavender and wild dried herbs. However, this strongly flavoured candy needs a pretty robust red like these blends of peppery syrah, mourvedre and the sweet, almost candied Grenache itself.
Les Halos De Jupiter Côtes Du Rhône 2012, Rhone, France, $19.95 Thinkstock
Salted Nuts + Fino SherryThere is nothing like salty, nutty food to go with this dry, fresh, clean, crisp and elegant style of sherry. A match that won’t break the bank either and will make you look like the sophisticated Euro you are.
Tio Pepe Extra Dry Fino Sherry, Jerez, Spain, $16.80Thinkstock
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups + Ruby PortThe sweetest and the simplest of the Ports make the best match for chocolate-coated peanut cups that are both sweet and salty. Port and chocolate are a classic pairing and almost always prove an easy and satisfying match. The wine should be just as sweet or sweeter than the treat.
Sandeman Ruby Port, Portugal, $15.45 Thinkstock
Pretzels + Australian ChardonnayThose buttery, salty treats can be paired with nothing less than an equally rich, buttery and mouth-filling wine such as a warmer climate chardonnay. This complimentary match is all about texture and will increase both the viscosity of the wine and its fruity character.
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay 2013, South Australia, $15.95 Thinkstock
Sour Candies + White ZinfandelGo ahead, indulge in two guilty pleasures at once! This sugary and sour combo relies on both the sweetness of the wine and its characteristic flavours of candied fruit and cotton candy. Warning, you must have a real sweet tooth to appreciate this combo!
Woodbridge By Robert Mondavi White Zinfandel 2011, California, USA, 9.95 Thinkstock